Facing an allegation of sexual assault, Bill Cosby will finally have his day in court in June. In a move that some consider a public relation stunt, Cosby broke his silence recently. Speaking with Sirius XM’s Michael Smerconish, when asked, Cosby said that racism may be a motivating factor for the allegations.
Cosby’s answer was in response to a comment made by his daughter, Ensa: “Racism has played a big role [in the allegations]. The accusations against my father have been one-sided from the beginning. I’ve witnessed my father’s reputation and legendary works be dismissed without any proof.”
Ensa’s remarks were aired previously on the popular radio show, “The Breakfast Club.” The pre-recorded statement in defense of her father was released to the popular morning show by Cosby’s publicist. This would indicate that her statement, as well as that of her sister, and now Cosby, is an attempt to gin up support for the onetime beloved, but the now-disgraced icon.
What Did Cosby Say?
Asked about the validity his daughter’s theory, Cosby said, ““Could be. Could be.” He went on to say, “There are so many tentacles. So many different—‘nefarious’ is a great word, And I just truly believe that some of it may very well be that.”
Cosby also questioned the timing of the of accusations. He suggested that the sudden vast number of accusations were made to greatly influence public opinion against him. To date, there is a total of 58 women who have levied claims of sexual assault against Cosby. To his point, it’s interesting that the flurry of accusers did come to an abrupt halt before charges were filed against him.
“So, the piling on, so to speak is a way—and certainly an impressive, impressive way—to get public opinion to come to the other side,” Cosby elaborated.
Cosby’s sexual assault trial begins on June 5th, 20016.
Cosby Knows Racism
Bill Cosby saying that he thinks race may play some part in shaping perceptions of his guilt in the court of public opinion might sound far-fetched. To some, I’m sure it sound like Cosby is suggesting that he’s the victim of a grand conspiracy to take a black man down, by “the man”. You know because, white supremacy, Cosby’s attempt to buy NBC, and the Illuminati. However, while there’s is some truth to what Cosby is saying, it’s not as deep as some think.
Say whatever you want about Cosby, but I think he’s correct. Why? Because what he has said speaks to the pervasiveness of racism. It’s hard to argue that race isn’t at play when we know that implicit racial bias in policing and by juries in court proceedings are a thing.
As The New York Times points out:
[…] scientists have been studying [implicit bias] for decades: namely, that even well-meaning people frequently harbor hidden prejudices against members of other racial groups. Studies have shown that these subtle biases are widespread and associated with discrimination in legal, economic and organizational settings.
[…] But implicit bias is not about bigotry per se. As new research from our laboratory suggests, implicit bias is grounded in a basic human tendency to divide the social world into groups. In other words, what may appear as an example of tacit racism may actually be a manifestation of a broader propensity to think in terms of “us versus them” — a prejudice that can apply, say, to fans of a different sports team. This doesn’t make the effects of implicit bias any less worrisome, but it does mean people should be less defensive about it.
What If Cosby Was White?
To say that Cosby is wrong here is to admit, or suggest, that implicit racial bias is false. In other words, the police shooting death of Terrence Crutcher, for example, was justified. Mike Brown? Justified. Philando Castile? Justified.
Additionally, you’re probably of the opinion that Trayvon Martin was indeed a weed-smoking-thug, out looking for trouble when he was killed. These are just a few examples off the top of my head. I’m sure if I really put my mind to it I could come up with a much longer list of justified killings to make my case.
I mean, there are so many.
If you think race has no impact on our perceptions in criminal proceedings, it’s likely that you’ve never heard of the Central Park Five. No need for me to relitigate that case. Nevertheless, let’s just say that there’s a racist white man who is now President of the United States, who still to this day, says that the Central Park Five are guilty. Nevermind the fact that science has proven them innocent, and that they’ve long been exonerated of rape. Even n the face of this fact, the abundance of melanin in their bodies makes them guilty.
Racism: As American As Apple Pie
The tragedy that is America’s racial history, is that people of color are never afforded the benefit of the doubt. This explains activists around the country protesting and screaming, “Black lives matter!” So no, you cannot divorce race and the ease at which the guilt of black and brown people is assumed. Bill Cosby knows this. Like him, at 79, if you’re black, you’ve seen how racial bias plays itself out. Which, unfortunately for people of color that age is good. Especially considering that kids like Jordan Edwards, Jordan Davis, and Emmett Till never grow old like Bill Cosby has. Yes, would’ve been nice if they were able to.
I’m not saying that Cosby is not guilty of rape. I’m also not saying that he is guilty. Sorry, but that’s for a court to decide. Nonetheless, again, I think he’s absolutely correct. His race may impact any perception of guilt. Last time I checked, like O.J. Simpson, Bill Cosby is still a black man. And yes, sadly, this is still America.